What is your favorite source of sustainable energy?
Biomass? Geothermal? Ocean waves? Solar power? Wind?
These are energy sources we hope will someday (soon) power our economy and the tools we use in our daily lives. Even people I know who vote different from me still seem to agree on this point. Where we disagree tends to be on how to make it happen.
It seems like sustainable energy will be a big talking point in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.
And while this has me thinking about which candidate has the best plan for powering our economy using sustainable energy, it also has me asking a question of myself:
What powers our movement?
Does our walk match our talk about sustainable energy?
I'm not talking about driving electric cars and installing solar panels.
I'm talking about what powers the spirit of our movement.
Is that energy source sustainable?
Anger is a powerful source of energy for a movement. An explosive energy source. Look around at the American political landscape and you cannot deny that anger works.
But fossil fuels work, too. In fact, they still power most of our economy.
And we all agree: They are not good for people or planet in the (not so) longterm. Neither fossil fuels nor the lifestyle they power are sustainable.
And so it is with anger. It burns hot and strong and can move millions of people at a time. But anger poisons and pollutes. It burns those who kindle it as well as those at whom they direct its fire. And it is not sustainable. Anger cannot power a healthful and long-lasting society at peace with itself and prospering for all.
So, we have to ask ourselves the honest question: What is powering our movement? Is it good for people and planet? Is it sustainable?
I believe one of the reasons VEJ exists is to ask questions like these and to call people back to the heart of what environmental justice is all about.
And I believe the heart of environmental justice is love.
Love for people--all people. Love for planet--all of the planet.
Love is the most powerful sustainable energy source in the universe. When we cultivate love, it can go on and on and on. It can keep growing to power a thousand generations to the ends of the cosmos.
Sure, VEJ will speak up for sustainable energy sources like solar, waves, and wind.
But the the sustainable energy source we practice and preach the most has to be love.
Grace and peace,
BT Irwin, primus inter pares
Voices for Earth Justice